The Department of Sexually Transmitted Infections Control (DSC) clinic is also colloquially known as Kelantan Clinic (and keying “kelantan clinic” into Google or other search engines leads you to the DSC Clinic website rather than any clinic within the Malaysian state of Kelantan), because it has been located at Kelantan Lane since its official launch in 1991. DSC is probably the largest department within the National Skin Centre (NSC), and is run by NSC for the Ministry of Health Singapore (MOH). I visited the clinic a decade ago as part of my training for infectious diseases (all ID physicians-in-training in Singapore have to do a short stint at Kelantan clinic), and was quite pleased to be given the opportunity to visit it again by Dr Martin Chio, the current head of the DSC clinic.

The front entrance to Kelantan Clinic. Note the frosted glass panels that prevent curious onlookers from peering at the patients within.
The front entrance to Kelantan Clinic. Note the frosted glass panels that prevent curious onlookers from peering at the patients within.
Back door entrance to Kelantan Clinic. For staff only.
Back door to Kelantan Clinic. For staff only.

The clinic had expanded since my training stint 10 years ago. Although the physical space remains constrained (2 floors), some of the original consultation rooms had been divided to create more rooms.

Educational pamphlets and a stack of free condoms just within the main entrance of the clinic.
Educational pamphlets and a stack of free condoms just within the main entrance of the clinic.

By tradition, the first floor of the clinic is for patients with STIs, whereas the second floor is reserved for screening sex workers (working in the legal brothels in Singapore).

Second floor of Kelantan clinic - reserved for screening commercial sex workers.
Second floor of Kelantan clinic – reserved for screening commercial sex workers.
Service values of the DSC Clinic.
Service values of the DSC Clinic.

I was very impressed to find that the clinic houses a sizeable laboratory with 5 technicians that are able to perform various aspects of STI laboratory testing including PCR for Chlamydiae trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, dark-field microscopy for Treponema pallidum, and the various serological tests for syphilis and HIV.

Door to the laboratory within Kelantan clinic.
Door to the laboratory within Kelantan clinic.
A view of the laboratory within Kelantan clinic, showing the automated Cobas molecular testing system from Roche.
A view of the laboratory within Kelantan clinic, showing the automated Cobas molecular testing system from Roche.

There were also many clever and eye-catching educational posters within the clinic. Too bad these are not displayed more prominently elsewhere!

Sample educational posters within DSC Clinic.
Sample educational posters within DSC Clinic.
Sample educational posters (2).
Sample educational posters (2).
A display case within DSC Clinic.
A display case within DSC Clinic.

All in all, a very impressive setup doing vital infectious diseases work in Singapore.

As an interesting final note, Action for AIDS Singapore, a non-governmental organisation, is based across the road at Kelantan Lane, and runs its anonymous HIV testing service at DSC Clinic after office hours.

An Action for Aids mobile testing van, parked outside DSC Clinic.
An Action for Aids mobile testing van, parked outside DSC Clinic.
Advertisements